WASDE: 2020-’21 outlook for corn use in ethanol lowered

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producers Magazine • Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The USDA lowered its prediction for 2020-’21 corn use in ethanol in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released on Jan. 12. The forecasts for corn production, feed and residual use, exports, and ending stocks were also lowered.

The 2020-’21 outlook for corn production is now estimated at 14.182 billion bushels, down 324 million on a lower yield and slight reduction in harvested area.

Total corn use is revised down 250 million bushels to 14.575 billion. Exports are down 100 million bushels, reflecting sharper lower supplies and higher expected prices.

Corn used for ethanol is lowered, based on data through November from the Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report and weekly ethanol production during December as indicated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. An estimated 4.95 billion corn is currently expected to go to ethanol production in 2020-’21, down from the December projection of 5.05 billion bushels. An estimated 4.852 billion bushels of corn went to ethanol production in 2019-’20, down from an estimated 5.278 billion in 2018-’19.

Feed and residual use is reduced 50 million bushels to 5.65 billion, based on indicated disappearance during the September-November quarter. With supply falling more than use, corn stocks are lowered 150 million bushels to 1.552 billion. The season-average corn price received by producers is raised to $4.20 per bushel.

Foreign corn production is reduced with declines for Argentina and Brazil more than offsetting increase for China and India. For Argentina, dryness during December reduces yield prospects for early-planted corn in key central growing areas. Brazil is lowered reflecting reduced yield expectations for first-crop corn in southern Brazil.

Foreign corn ending stocks are lower, mostly reflecting reductions for Brazil and the EU-27+U.K. Global corn stocks, at 283.8 million tons, are down 5.1 million.